Quantitative aptitude is a crucial skill in various competitive exams, job interviews, and everyday problem-solving scenarios. It involves the ability to comprehend and manipulate numerical data quickly and accurately. One of the key aspects of mastering quantitative aptitude is simplification – the art of simplifying complex mathematical expressions. This article will explore some effective tactics for simplification questions that can significantly enhance your quantitative aptitude skills.

1. Master the Basics

Before delving into advanced simplification techniques, it’s essential to have a solid grasp of basic mathematical operations. Ensure you are proficient in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Being comfortable with basic calculations forms the foundation for tackling more intricate simplification problems.


BODMAS/BIDMAS is an acronym that represents the order of operations – Brackets, Orders (powers and square roots, etc.), Division and Multiplication (from left to right), and Addition and Subtraction (from left to right). Understanding and applying this rule correctly is fundamental to simplifying complex expressions. Always start with calculations inside brackets, powers and roots, division and multiplication, and finally, addition and subtraction.

3. Grouping and Pairing

Identifying and grouping terms with common factors can significantly simplify expressions. Look for terms that can be paired or grouped, as this often leads to cancellation or simplification. For instance, in the expression 2x + 4x, grouping like terms (2x and 4x) allows you to simplify to 6x.

4. Cross-Canceling in Fractions

When dealing with fractions, cross-cancelling can expedite the simplification process. To simplify the fraction, eliminate common factors from both the numerator and denominator. This method works especially well for handling complicated algebraic fractions.

5. Memorise Squares and Cubes

Memorising the squares and cubes of numbers up to a certain range can save valuable time during calculations.


Knowing that 12 squared is 144 or that five cubed is 125 allows you to quickly simplify expressions involving these values. Create flashcards or use mnemonic devices to facilitate memorisation.

6. Decimal and Percentage Conversions

Converting decimals to percentages and vice versa can simplify calculations. For instance, instead of dealing with a decimal like 0.25, consider it as 25%. This makes mental calculations more manageable, especially when working with percentages in various quantitative aptitude problems.

7. Estimation Techniques

To make computations easier to handle, estimation entails estimating values. In order to simplify complex equations, round integers to the closest tens or hundreds. This method works very well when working with big quantities or when accuracy is not very important.

8. Canceling Zeros

Cancelling zeros can simplify calculations when multiplying or dividing by powers of 10. For instance, dividing 4500 by 100 can be simplified by cancelling two zeros, resulting in 45.

9. Practice Regularly

Like any skill, mastering simplification in quantitative aptitude requires consistent practice. Set aside dedicated time each day to work on simplification problems. Many websites provide practice tests and quizzes so you may improve your knowledge in a virtual exam setting.

10. Work Backwards

Working backwards from the answer can help simplify the problem in certain scenarios. Start with the given answer and reverse engineer the steps, applying the inverse operations. This tactic is particularly effective for multiple-choice questions, allowing you to eliminate incorrect options systematically.


In conclusion, simplification is the key to conquering quantitative aptitude challenges. By mastering these simplification tactics, you can approach complex simplification questions with confidence and efficiency. Remember to build a strong foundation, apply the BODMAS/BIDMAS rule diligently, and leverage grouping, cross-cancelling, and other techniques to simplify expressions. Regular practice and a strategic approach will boost your quantitative aptitude skills and increase your chances of success in various exams and real-life scenarios.